Happy Mardi Gras, Enjoy Ash Wednesday!

Play

podcast-logo.pngHappy Mardi Gras! Today I would take a little time to discuss Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Carnival and Lent.

Lent is the forty day Christian fasting season leading up to Easter. Christians, particularly Catholics, mark the period by giving up meat or some pleasure or comfort.

Carnival is the two week celebration leading up to Lent. The most famous Carnival is celebrated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I am sure you have seen the photos of revelers. The last day, the culmination of Carnival is Mardi Gras.

Since Lent is a time of fasting and going without, people live it up big for the two weeks leading up to Lent. Mardi Gras is the last day to enjoy favored foods it tend so it is a day for fattening up for the long wait till Easter. Mardi Gras translates literally from the French as “Tuesday Fat.” The following day, Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent.

Ash Wednesday gets its name from the ashes with which the priest blesses worshipers. On Ash Wednesday Christians, again particularly Catholics, can be seen with their foreheads marked with this ash.

Equanimity in a Desperate Podcast

Play

podcast-logo.png

I heard Felicity Huffman use the word equanimity on NPR’s All Things Considered. Felicity Huffman plays Lynette on Desperate Housewives and recently received an Oscar nomination for her staring role in Transamerica– the story of a man who becomes a woman then discovers she has a teenage son.

The interview focuses on motherhood as it applies in the movie and in Desperate Housewives. Huffman uses equanimity to summarize one of the characteristics she observes in other mothers and aspires to posses herself.

Equanimity is a calmness or evenness of mind; a balanced impartiality.

As you may have guessed it is related the word equal and comes from the latin aequanimitas– a combination of aequus, meaning even or equal and animus, meaning mind.

It is no wonder the characteristic Huffman praises just before equanimity is balance. In fact she is almost being redundant.